Well, We’re Waiting – The Committed Indian.com’s Season Preview – The 4th Line (Or What Should Have Been)

Well, as we know this has gotten all jumbled a bit, but we’re still going to hold strong with what we see the lineup shaking out as. As long as we get to everyone, we should be ok. Anyway, we’ll do this one and then later today the extra/rookie forwards who might pop up during the season. Then off to the defense and goaltending and such. Who’s excited?!

To it, then:

Dan Carcillo

2011 -2012: 28G – 2G – 9A – 11P – +10 – 7.4 SH% – 2.85 Behind The Net Rating

Well, I doubt there’s a player who generates more debate and signifies a wider gap in thinking between some of the readers of this blog than the writers of it. In his brief spasm of appearances between suspensions and injury, it’s hard to argue that Carcillo wasn’t effective. But what was resulting in that? Was it his actual play or that he spent a great deal of time skating with Hossa and Kane? And what about all the crap he either missed or didn’t get suspended for? Because make no mistake Carbomb went out of his way to injure people that didn’t get caught. I remember one specific case in Minnesota where he delayed coming off the bench for a good five seconds so he could try and blindside Pierre-Marc Bouchard (I think). And there were other cases.

For this year, quite frankly I can’t see what Carcillo does that Andrew Shaw doesn’t do as well or better. You want an agitator? Shaw’s got that with slightly less blatant attempts to maim someone when they’re not looking. You need an shit-disturber who can fill in on the top six and provide a forecheck? Shaw does that with his superior skating, and he’s got a better nose for the net. And neither of them really fight anyway, if you think that’s something you need in a truncated season (which you do not, in case you thought that was in any way not rhetorical).

To boot, Carcillo wasn’t the best skater to begin with, and now he’s coming off a shredded knee. I know his teammates and fans love him, but quite frankly I just don’t get it. He’ll play more than I want, he’ll probably do just enough to make meatheads think he’s doing a lot more than he is, and I’ll continue to tear my fictitious hair out.

Jamal Mayers

2011-2012: 81G – 6G – 9A – 15P – -4 – 8.6 SH% – -0.54 Behind The Net Rating

To me, Jammer represents one of the better examples of total Q mismanagement from last year. It was obvious what Mayers was when he got here, and that’s a reliable 4th liner who’ll win some draws, provide some energy, be good in the room (and board room too!) and that’s about it. But of course, Mayers found himself on the power play when Q ran out of answers, he played center far more often than he should have instead of taking draws from the wing, and then somehow ended up a scratch in the playoffs even though he was supposed to be a “Q guy” (though this one came up trumps when Brendan Morrison actually played well, but he could have taking Bollig’s spot as well).

Anyway, once again Jammer comes back and we know what he can do. Though how long that lasts at his age in this season is anyone’s guess, but he’s known for keeping himself in pretty good shape. He’ll win draws on the 4th line, he’ll hit when he can get there, and he’ll chip in a goal here and there. He shouldn’t be expected to do much more, and if I’m going to draw wild conclusions off of one practice, it looks like Q doesn’t want him playing center any more. Which is just fine.

Andrew Shaw (aka Chicken Hawk)

2011-2012: 37G – 12G – 11A – 23P – -1 -16.2 SH% – -0.25 Behind The Net Rating

I think there’s this perception that I hate Andrew Shaw. Based on my comparison of him to Carcillo, that should be clearly proven false. I like Shaw in limited doses. But let’s clear up some myths here. He’s not going to approach the 12 goals again, or at least it’s highly unlikely. That 16.2 SH% is not sustainable. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some uses, or some glaring weaknesses.

He can be an agitator, and that’s not always a bad thing to have. He does forecheck like his hair is on fire, and the Hawks don’t have a lot of that. He can kill some penalties. And he’s got an annoying face, key to any good team.

But he can get awfully stupid. His season in Rockford has been littered by suspensions and moronic, selfish penalties. He can get lost positionally to an exponential degree. He is most certainly not a center, even though Q is going to toss him there. He’s kind of a loose cannon, basically.

If Shaw can stick to getting on the body in the offensive zone, and driving to the net like I do toward a “Free Beer” sign, and occasionally getting opponents off their game, he definitely has a place with the Hawks. No more than a 4th liner right now, but that is still something the Hawks need. However, if he goes off the reservation and commits dumb penalty after dumb penalty, plays his game at the expense of the team’s, and/or falls in love with his offense too much, then the Hawks would be much better off getting the first apple of the fans’ eyes up here, and that’s Ben Smith (when and if he’s healthy). As Smith has been far more effective and disciplined this season with the Hogs, and can give you all the things Shaw can without any of the bullshit. But I won’t hold my breath.

  • The issue with Carcillo is that Q thinks he’s a good complement to the first line. I know he’s not the worst player in the world if you remove the silly stuff but you cannot remove the silly stuff. That’s what he is. It’s not going to change.

    I think, based on the line combos we’re already seeing at camp, this is Q’s last stand. I have never been a “Fire Q!” guy but that may change depending on how his hunches play out. If he really thinks Shaw at center and Bollig wearing a real hockey uniform are good ideas then they had better pan out.

    I know you didnt’ include Bollig for a reason and that reason is he’s no more desirable than poop on my shoe. And yet here he is. Running with the 4th line. Goddamn it all to hell.

    • JesusMarianHossa

      I don’t want to live in a world where Dan Carcillo is a top 6 forward on a roster where Victor Stalberg isn’t.

      • stacie7

        I wouldn’t get my undies in a bunch. You know with the line generator Carcillo won’t be a top 6 forward after 1/2 a game.

        • JesusMarianHossa

          The thought process that put him there in the first place has been my problem with Joel Quenneville from the word “Go.”

          • stacie7

            Don’t get me wrong – I totally agree with you. I’m just trying not to get too worked up over anything until I see the product on ice Saturday. Actually, I don’t think I will really believe hockey is back until I see it on Saturday.

          • RLWiener
        • This. Everybody, including Jim Cornelison, will have seen top line time before the 2nd period of the 1st game..

    • Paul the Fossil

      “this is Q’s last stand” — yea that seems pretty clear. If Quenneville doesn’t get better net results this season than last, he’s gone.

    • Joe Banks

      I’m no more excited about Bollig than anyone, but the role Bollig provides is a necessary evil. And he has some skillz.

      1) Which would you prefer, Bolling or Scott?
      2) If you let him go, would you prefer playing against him in his native St Louis?

      • SamFels

        What is it you think would happen in St. Louis if he wasn’t there?

        • 10thMountainFire

          That’s a great question. It’s not like Bollig is going to drop with Backes. Having Bollig and (insert selected St. Louis ape/dumbass/enforcer here) fight hardly impacts the efforts of Backes to take liberties with Marvel.

        • RLWiener

          I believe he meant if you get rid of Bollig and he plays for St. Louis. I don’t know what point he’s trying to make. Bollig would just be another ass clown on the Blues.

        • Joe Banks

          It appears I may have stepped in it again… (removes shoes)
          I merely meant to point out that, IF we must have an enforcer, I prefer Bollig over Scott.
          St. Louis is what it is without him. I momentarily pictured it with him there, and reflux occurred. If I offended anyone, my apologies.

      • amontesawesome

        Yeah. I would much rather play against a team who chooses to ice a player who does not help his team win than have that player play on the team for which I root.

      • Apothecaries’ Weight

        Please elaborate on these “skillz” plz.

        • Joe Banks

          compared to Scott – it’s a very low bar

          • RLWiener

            Well I’d rather have neither.

      • 1) Neither – who says that the Hawks have to have a meatsack on the roster at all?
        2) Yes, I would. Then I could REALLY let the hate flow. He’s a St. Louis guy through and through. I’m sure his life long dream is to play for the Blues.

    • Lobsters

      I can live with bollig. But shaw and carcillo lineup decisions just baffle me. Two energy 4th liners find themselves in big roles where they don’t belong, that’s just said. I am real big on letting saad develop in the AHL this year, but I’d rather him be on the number one line than carcillo.

  • Lobsters

    Most frustrating part of this breakdown: Carcillo is now on line 1.

    • JesusMarianHossa

      Carcillo is now on line 1.

      Well that certainly didn’t take long for him to get suspend- oh, you mean the first line! I thought you meant the phone because, well, yeah.

      • Lobsters

        I’ve totally stolen your name for my fantasy hockey team, very clever. Just figured I’d say that.

        • JesusMarianHossa

          I look forward to cashing the royalties checks like Jerry did for the Super Terrific Happy Hour.


          • Accipiter

            I don’t envy the hand cramp you are going to have.

    • justforkicks

      and if he’s got a target on his back because of previous infractions, which is likely i would think, kind of impedes the effectiveness of line 1 or 2.

  • amontesawesome

    It’s official. It took less than a week and zero actual games played, but I hate Q again.

    • ahnfire

      it’s how we know that hockey is truly back.

    • TKHO

      The good news is that it’s virtually assured that one of the following two scenarios occurs: we win in spite of Q’s maddening decisions, or he is no longer our coach in the fall.

  • Seriously, can’t agree more with Sam via twitter and Ahn from last thread.

    Why isn’t Stally getting better time?

    keep saying it : “It’s just camp, It’s just camp….”

    • Accipiter

      I’m sure we will see Sharp and the 2 Swedes at some point.

    • Apothecaries’ Weight

      He’s not getting time because the head coach hates him and thinks he sucks.

    • The “it’s just camp” people probably need to understand that the first real game is in five days and all of these players are a known quantity. So yeah – experimentation my ass.

    • Neal Schmidt

      With all the games in such a short period there probably won’t be a top 6 and bottom 6. More like a top 9 and even the 4th line should expect more ice time. So you should expect the difference in “5o5 Time on Ice” between the top line and third line will be much less than in the past.

      It will also be interesting to see Bolland’s and Toews’ offensive to defensive zone starts. They will probably be less extreme than in the past as well.

      And I will be curious to see how long that lasts with Q.

  • Apothecaries’ Weight

    Is this too much to ask for? I feel like it’s both explosive in the offensive zone and extrememly well balanced defensivly.

    Then use Stals in the ‘Steeg spot on the third line….or something.

    • jackattack

      I’m coming to terms with the idea that Stan may swing at least a few trades prior to the deadline this season. Whether Bolland is at 2C or 3C, this team is still lacking 4 natural centermen. Shaw is not going to be the answer on the 3rd or 4th. I think Brandon Pirri deserves a shot, but he’s not the checking line type. There’s a few prospects who will eventually vie for that spot, but that’s further down the line. The Hawks have the organizational depth and an overabundance of wingers and bottom pairing defensemen, and Stan would be well advised to deal some of that to acquire a legitimate centerman to fill the void.

  • Apothecaries’ Weight

    Stals to the PP via Q.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      fucking finally.

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        Knowing Q, $10 says Stals is on the point…

  • jackattack

    I’m toying with CapGeek as usual and have a question regarding the new CBA. We all know at this point that burying players without two-way contracts in the AHL still counts against the salary cap, and I’m obviously talking about Rusty Olesz. However, does he still count as a player on the active roster? When I’m playing with the cap calculator and have the current camp roster loaded, which amounts to 26 players, it tells me there’s actually 27. I know that Olesz’s cap hit is there, but should he actually be counted as a member of the roster?

    • Accipiter

      Pretty sure he has to be on the roster because of his one-way contract.

      • ahnfire

        One-way contract doesn’t mean he has to be on the roster, just that he gets paid the same amount whether he’s here or in Rockford.

        • Accipiter

          I don’t think he is on the active roster, but he definitely eats up a roster spot of the 50 pro players you are allowed per team.

          • jackattack

            That’s what I thought, but CapGeek seems to be suggesting that he’d count against our 23 man roster even if he’s down in Rockford. That doesn’t compute with me. Yes, he’s part of the 50 pro players and yes, his salary will count against the Hawks cap hit no matter where he plays, but I don’t think he’ll count as a member of the 23 man roster.

          • Accipiter

            He is injured right now anyway so he would be on IR and not eligible to be on the active roster. There aren’t many updates on him as I believe he has joined Kim Johnsson in the afterlife.

          • jackattack

            I hadn’t thought about the injury part, but I’m still puzzled. Maybe I’ll email the CapGeek guys and see if they can give us a definitive answer on this.

          • Neal Schmidt

            No one has seen the new CBA. however, using the old CBA, all one way contracts are ON the active roster during the preseason. 12 days to the day before the season starts players can be waived. So Olesz is ON the active roster until he is waived. Remember the 23 man active roster does NOT kick in until the season starts (or really the day before the season starts).

            If the rules are similar to before, Olesz will be waived. From the new rules that will save 900K in salary. Being on IR or LTIR does NOT save salary cap space.

            That is one of the misconceptions of the previous CBA. Once you spend all of your salary cap space LTIR kicks in with an exception but NOT before that.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            It’s really only TECHNICALLY inaccurate to say that putting a guy on LTIR removes his cap hit from the books. What it does is it gives you an exception for that amount, i.e. you can go above the salary cap by however much salary is on LTIR. In other words, if the cap is $70.2M and you put a guy on LTIR whose cap hit is $3M, the cap ceiling for your club in effect goes up to $73.2M.

            The reason that this is different from simply removing the cap hit from the books has to do with the way that teams are able to “bank” excess cap space throughout the season. When we talk about players’ salaries and the salary cap we talk about it on an annual basis because it’s much simpler, but in reality it’s actually calculated on a DAILY basis. The daily cap ceiling is calculated by taking the ceiling for the season divided by 180 days (for a full season), the daily cap hit for a player is calculated the same way. For every day that a team is under the daily cap, they bank the difference between the daily cap ceiling and their daily cap hit. Later in the season they can use the extra cap space that they’ve banked to add a player they would not have otherwise been able to fit under the cap. For example, let’s say a team starts off the year $2.5M below the salary cap. If they were to try to acquire a player a week into the season they wouldn’t have banked much cap space and as a result could not afford to add more than $2.5M in salary. However, if they don’t make any moves until the trade deadline they can use the excess cap space that they’ve banked to acquire a more expensive player whose salary would seemingly take them over the cap ceiling. For this calculation of banked cap space LTIR considerations don’t come into play – the salary of a player on LTIR counts here against your cap number and there is no exception that raises the cap ceiling.

            For example, say the cap ceiling is $70.2M and you have a player whose cap hit is $5M on LTIR. Now let’s assume that one or 2 players were acquired to fill that hole and now your total cap hit, including the $5M player on IR, is $73M. You’re within the rules of the CBA and allowed to play because the player on LTIR allows you an exception to spend up to $75.2M in cap space. However, you’re not banking any cap space to be used later in the season either because that $5M exception does not apply to the daily cap figure from which banked cap space is calculated, so adding another player later in the season would be very difficult.

          • Atta boy ATTA BOY. Hence the infamous Rockford Shuffle a couple years back. Every dollar saved was crucial.

          • fleshrifle

            Excellent explanation.

          • jackattack

            Thanks, Neal. This was helpful, and makes sense based on what I’m seeing at CapGeek.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Under the new CBA there is no way to “bury” a player anymore as the ‘Hawks did with Olesz in Rockford and Huet in Europe, and as other teams have done such as the Rangers sending Wade Redden to the Plymouth Whalers. The salary of every single player a team has under contract counts towards the team’s salary cap figure, regardless of whether or not he is on the NHL roster. This is why the Canadiens are having Scott Gomez and the Rangers are having Wade Redden stay at home and not play for anyone this year. Since each players’ salary will count against the cap regardless of where he plays (or doesn’t play), those clubs are making sure that those players will not be injured and thus will be eligible for a compliance buyout next summer.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Rusty did not pass his physical and has not been cleared to play since he had another operation on his knee following his 2011-’12 season in Rockford. I’m assuming that he will start out, if not spend the entire season, on LTIR and as long as he’s there he won’t count towards the 23 man limit nor will his salary cap hit matter. If he ends up being cleared to play before the season is over I assume he’ll be waived and either sent down to Rockford or told to stay home and not play in anticipation of an amnesty buyout this summer. In that ends up being the case his cap hit will come back into play (though unless a major move is made it won’t bring the ‘Hawks up over the cap so it’s nothing to worry about) but since he’ll either be in Rockford or at home he again won’t count against the 23-person limit

          • jackattack

            Yeah, that’s the way I understand it, but the cap calculator at CapGeek seems to suggest that players who are buried count against the roster limit if they are healthy. That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s either a mistake on their part or we’re all in the dark about a rule in the new CBA. I emailed them and should have an answer back momentarily. I’ll post it here.

          • I don’t think that is a mistake. I thought i remember reading one of the clauses of the CBA is that one-way contracts which are sent down still count against the NHL cap – you can’t bury players anymore.

            edit – oh, roster limit.

  • Accipiter

    In addition to Barker, the Canucks signed Jim Vandermeer. I guess they weren’t to excited with what they had on D. Oh, I almost forgot, Fuck You Alberts !

  • jackattack

    Alright, here’s how I see this going down for Saturday.

    Daniel Carcillo ($0.825m)/Jonathan Toews ($6.300m)/Marian Hossa ($5.275m)
    Patrick Sharp ($5.900m)/Dave Bolland ($3.375m)/Patrick Kane ($6.300m)
    Bryan Bickell ($0.542m)/Marcus Kruger ($0.900m)/Viktor Stalberg ($0.875m)
    Brandon Bollig ($0.575m)/Andrew Shaw ($0.565m)/Michael Frolik ($2.333m)
    Brandon Pirri ($0.870m)/Jamal Mayers ($0.650m)
    Brent Seabrook ($5.800m)/Duncan Keith ($5.538m)
    Niklas Hjalmarsson ($3.500m)/Nick Leddy ($1.117m)
    Sheldon Brookbank ($1.250m)/Johnny Oduya ($3.383m)
    Michal Rozsival ($2.000m)
    Corey Crawford ($2.667m)
    Ray Emery ($1.150m)
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $70,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,915,128; BONUSES: $635,000
    CAP SPACE (24-man roster): $6,919,872

    • yuck – is it looking all messed up just for me? here’s the lines you posted:



      For me – mayers should replace Bollig.

      Between frolik, stalberg, carbomb, and shaw, there is a heck of a lot of options for moving up and down the line-up in games that actually don’t piss me off too bad. I’d just like to see the top 5 (outside of that one winger spot) see some consistency, and also, I’d like to see kruger get an honest-to-god shot at a checking center role.

      I’d like to see Bickell/Kruger/Frolik out there. Test if the rat pack is a Bolland-only phenomenon or not.

  • The Doctor

    Really not a fan of Shaw at center, especially on the “checking line” (though I’m assuming Bolland will still be out there for a large share of the draws against other top lines).

    Carcillo won’t last long on the top line either imo. Regardless of what Q decides to roll out, I’m hoping the guys get it together quick considering the rather rough start to the season.